Adventures in basement hunting. I love our creepy old basement because I always find something awesome down there. Our landlord is in poor health and so she has not been inside our building in over ten years, if things need fixing we just do it ourselves. When I moved in over three years ago I found a hoarders dream of probably 20+ years of renters crap in the basement. If you read my last post you know that my inner weirdo could not tend to my laundry and not try to clean up while I was down there. I finally called the landlord and asked her if I had her permission to clean it all out for her. Since she did not know about the mess she was grateful for my help. While I did find a couple gems to keep like a shelving unit and a projector screen the rest was craigslist worthy or headed to the alley for pickers. There were a couple items I left alone because they weren’t in the way and they were pretty self-contained. An old rusty filing cabinet was one of them. The drawers were so hard to open that I just didn’t bother…until yesterday that is. I couldn’t help myself, I just had to know what was in there after all of these years. I found a 1930′s bird lice treatment container, some old plumbing parts, fridge bins and racks and horseshoes. Horseshoes? What luck! No really, they are supposed to be lucky if you hang them above your door.
The tradition of putting a horseshoe over the door to bring good luck and keep the devil away has long been tradition. The story behind this tradition has many variations. This is one of them: Once upon a time, a wise old blacksmith was hard at work making horseshoes. The sound of the anvil attracted the attention of the devil. He saw that the smith was making horseshoes, and he thought it would be a good idea to get his own hoofs shod. So the devil made a deal with the smith and stood to be shod. The wise blacksmith saw with whom he was dealing, and so he nailed on a red-hot shoe, driving the nails square into the center of the devil’s hoof. The devil then paid him and left; but the honest blacksmith threw the money into the forge fire, knowing it would bring him bad luck. Meanwhile, the devil walked some distance and began to suffer the greatest torture from the new shoes. The more he danced and pranced and kicked and swore, the more they hurt him. finally, after he had gone through the most fearful agony, he tore them off and threw them away. From that time to this, whenever the devil sees a horseshoe he turns and runs–anxious to keep out of the way of those torturous devices. (Dr. Doug Butler’s book, The Principles of Horseshoeing)
Another lore is that if you hang the horseshoe above the door it was god luck. Legs up meant it is good luck for all who live within, if you face it downward it was believed your luck would run out. However others did/do believed that if you hang it legs down that good luck will pour down over all who enter. In most of Europe, the Middle-East, and Spanish-colonial Latin America protective horseshoes are placed in a downward facing position. Americans of English and Irish descent prefer to display horseshoes upward; those of German, Austrian, Italian, Spanish, and Balkan descent generally hang them downward.
So I guess you can hang it however you want. ”What IS important is that the horseshoe was actually used — worn and discarded by a horse — that it was found in the road or in a field, not purchased, and that the person who enters the door can touch it.” What I want to know is if it decreases its lucky power if I glitter the crap out of it. Lucky for me I found two horseshoes(insert sly wink here).
Ok I admit it, I am an adult. These days I give my friends and family practical gifts. I care about leaving rings on coffee tables at parties and sometimes even in my own home. Shocker! Still, practicality doesn’t have to be hideous. Make your own coasters that are fashionable as well as functional. My girlfriend Bridget came over to do a practice run for the November Crafty Beavers event. We cracked open a bottle of wine, cranked up the Diana Ross, turned on the hilarious fireplace t.v. and crafted under the influence. For added cheekiness I took photos of our crafting on our ringed coffee table.
Warning: GLITTER GETS EVERYWHERE! In fact, I left the glitter out on the table and my cats got into it and tracked it all over my house while we were sleeping. Eight hours of kitty glitter mischief is near impossible to clean up.
Supplies you will need: 4 inch white tile, Mod Podge, foam brush, paint dish, scissors, sheet of black felt, glitter, Polyurethane (spray or liquid version) and a 2-3 inch deep container. You could also use scrapbook paper (see above leopard print scrapbook paper), old photographs or thin fabric.
First you need to felt the backside of each tile. You want to protect your furniture not to mention hide the ugly back. Cut the felt down so it is a bit smaller than your tile. It should not be sticking out beyond the sides. Pour Mod Podge on a paint tray or plate. Use the foam brush to apply M.P. to the back of the tile. Place the felt onto the back and firmly press it down into the grooves. You are doing this first so you don’t mess up your glitter job putting felt on the back.
Pour an ample amount of glitter into your container. Flip over your tile and brush Mod Podge onto the front and sides. Place your tile face down into the dish of glitter. Use your fingers to push glitter onto the sides. Remove the tile and let it dry for an hour. You may need to reapply a layer of Mod Podge and repeat the glitter application to fill in holes.
(If you prefer to use an old photo, scrapbook paper or thin fabric apply it to the front of the tile instead of the glitter)
Once you have the desired amount of glitter on your dried tile apply one more layer of M.P. You want to secure the top layer of glitter. If you wish to have a glossier, smoother surface you can swipe on a top coat of Polyurethane. You can get the poly at your local hardware store. I have also heard that Mod Podge makes an “outdoor’ version which is water proof. This would work as well and probably easier than the poly. Let dry and enjoy your new, fabulous coasters!
There are few things worse than a cabbie honking his horn threatening to leave if you don't put a hustle on it. This is the story of my life because I can never remember where the hell I put my keys. I decided it was time to rectify the situation and make myself a key dish. I hopped on my bike and headed over to Joann Fabrics. I came upon a company called Sculpey which takes all the pain and search suffering out of clay crafts. Right there in one little section they had clay in several different sizes in over 20 colors, clay rollers, sealants and fun stamps. I tried to stick to the basics and avoided purchasing stamps. Honestly it's because I'm cheap and was sure there were things lying around my house I could use instead.
There are few things worse than a cabbie honking his horn threatening to leave if you don’t put a hustle on it. This is the story of my life because I can never remember where the hell I put my keys. I decided it was time to rectify the situation and make myself a key dish. I hopped on my bike and headed over to Joann Fabrics. I came upon a company called Sculpey which takes all the pain and search suffering out of clay crafts. Right there in one little section they had clay in several different sizes in over 20 colors, clay rollers, sealants and fun stamps. I tried to stick to the basics and avoided purchasing stamps. Honestly it’s because I’m cheap and was sure there were things lying around my house I could use instead.
Things you will need: 2oz. oven bake clay (I used one 2oz. package per dish), rolling pin or clay roller, stamps, small oven safe bowl, baking pan, 200 grit sandpaper or nail file (optional: acrylic paints and sealer)
Preheat the oven to 275°F (130°C). You should knead the clay first between your fingers. This makes it easier to work with. Use your rolling pin or clay roller to roll out the clay. It should be 1/4″ thick. Roll it out on wax paper. If you want to have a patterned bottom of your dish use a texture plate. You can purchase them at your local craft store for rather inexpensively. I painted the bottom of mine so I did not use a plate.
Oddly, I had brass knuckles that I purchased at a flea market so I used them. Push the stamp into the clay deep enough to leave an imprinted image. Don’t push too deep or you will punch through the clay.
Peal your clay up off the wax paper. Place in the bottom of a small oven safe bowl. The bowl needs to be small enough so the clay takes the bowls shape and edges are rounded. Put the bowl in a baking pan or on a cookie sheet. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from the bowl.
Ta Da! Remove the clay and you have your very own bowl. If you want softer edges use a nail file or 200 grit sandpaper and smooth them out. You can stop here or paint your new bowl. If you paint it make sure you use a sealer afterward. You don’t want your new key /jewelry dish getting scratched.